A Pilgrim upon arrival at Madinah before or after the Hajj can do a couple of things, but first, one must know that visiting Madinah, the city of the Prophet – peace and blessing be up you -, has no relation or connection with Hajj rituals as some people may believe. It is a separate thing that a person can do at any time during the year, so the Pilgrim can do the following:
Visiting the Prophet's Mosque
For that, the pilgrim should have the intention of visiting the mosque, not the grave, because travelling to a place for the purpose of worship does not include visiting graves, rather it includes only the three mosques. Visiting the Prophet's Masjid is a recommended Sunnah. The Prophet (Prophet – peace and blessing be up you -) said: "There are only three mosques that travelling specifically to them is recommended: The Holy Masjid -in Makkah - and the Masjid of Rassulul-Allah Prophet – peace and blessing be up you -and the Farthest Masjid -in Jerusalem." [Agreed upon]
The prayer in the Prophet's Masjid is better than one thousand prayers somewhere else except in the Holy Masjid of Makkah. He – peace and blessing be upon him – said: "The prayer in this Masjid of mine is better than one thousand prayers elsewhere except in the Holy Masjid - of Makkah." [Agreed upon]
Visiting the Rawdwah
It is better for the pilgrim to pray in al-Rawdah which is the area between the minbar of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and the room in which is his grave, because this area is one of the gardens (riyaadh, sing. rawdah) of Paradise, It is floored with green carpet and so it is easy to identify. The Prophet (S) said: "Between my house and my minbar - pulpit - a Rawdah -garden- of Jannah." [Agreed upon]
Things to do there:
- Pray two Rak'aas at the Rawdah as-Sharifah if possible once you enter the mosque. Otherwise in any place close to it.
- Follow all the etiquette of entering and behaving in the mosques.
- Go near the Prophet's grave and say: “Assalaamu ‘alayka ayyuha’l-Nabiyyu wa rahmat-Allaahi wa barakaatuhu. Allaahumma salli ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama salayta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed; Allaahumma baarik ‘ala Muhammad wa ‘ala aali Muhammad kama baarakta ‘ala Ibraaheem wa ‘ala aali Ibraaheem, innaka hameedun majeed. Ashhadu annaka Rasool-Allaah haqqan wa annaka qad balaghta al-risaalah wa adayta al-amaanah wa nasahta al-ummah wa jaahadta fillaahi haqqa jihaadihi. Fa jazaka Allaahu ‘an ummatika afdal ma jaza nabiyyan ‘an ummatihi (Peace be upon you, O Prophet, and the mercy of Allaah, and His blessings. O Allaah, send prayers upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent prayers upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. O Allaah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as You sent blessings upon Ibraaheem and the family of Ibraaheem, verily You are Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory. I bear witness that you are indeed the Messenger of Allaah, that you conveyed the message and fulfilled the trust, and advised the ummah and strove truly for the sake of Allaah. May Allaah reward you on behalf of your ummah better than any Prophet is rewarded on behalf of his nation).”
Then he should move a little to his right and send salaams upon Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq and pray that Allaah be pleased with him.
Then he should move a little further to his right and send salaams upon ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab and pray that Allaah be pleased with him. If he makes du’aa’ for Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with them) in an appropriate manner, that is good.
It is not permissible for anyone to seek to draw closer to Allaah by touching the hujrah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or by circumambulating it, or by facing it whilst making du’aa’. Rather he should turn to face the qiblah, because drawing closer to Allaah can only be done by means of that which Allaah and His Messenger have prescribed. Acts of worship are based on following not on innovation.
Things to avoid doing there:
- To disobey the Prophet (S) by making du'aa to him instead of Allah.
- Asking the Prophet (S) favors and raising the hands towards his grave or to wipe oneself with al-Hujrah as-Shareefah - where the grave is.
- To make Tawaaf around the Hujrah as-Shareefah.
- To push others to reach places in the Masjid.
- To occupy a spot at the Rawdah for a long time making it difficult for other visitors to have a chance to pray there.
Women should not visit the grave of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or any other grave, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) cursed women who visit graves. Narrated by al-Tirmidhi and classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi, 843.
Visiting Quba'- Masjid:
Qibaa'a Masjid is the first masjid in Islam. It is Sunnah to visit it because the Messenger of Allah used to visit it and pray in it. The Prophet (S) said: "Whoever cleans himself in his house and goes to Qibaa'a Masjid and prays in it a prayer, he will be given the reward of a 'Umrah" [Ahmad, an-Nassaa'i, ibn Maajah, and al-Haakim]
Visiting al-Baqee' and Uhud:
It is good to visit the graves of the companions of the Messenger of Allah as long as there are no bad innovations and Shirk practices such as wailing at al-Baqee' or asking favors from the dead.
The Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him - taught his companions to say this du'aa: "As-Salaamu alaikum ahala-diyaari mil-Mu'mineena wal-Muslimeena. Antum as-Saabiqoona wa-innaa insha Allahu bikum lalaahiqoona wayar-hamu Allahu al-Mustaqdimeena minnaa wa-minkum wal-Musta'khireena. Nass'alu-Allah lanaa walakum al-'Aafiya fid-Dunia wal-'Aakhira. Allahumma ighfir lanaa wa-lahum wa-irhamnaa wa-iyyaahum. Allahumma laa tahrimnaa ajrahum walaa taftinnaa ba'dahum!"
Going to Uhud is a good thing because many companions were buried there after the battle of Uhud. The Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him - said about Uhud mountain: "This is Uhud a mountain which loves us and we love it" [Agreed upon].
May Allah grant us success and accept our Hajj.